Police have arrested a married couple for the murder of Abilene police officer Don Allen. The Texas police officer was murdered in his home at around 7:00 p.m. Monday evening. The shocking murder of the newly-engaged officer Don Allen was just one of three police officer murders in the United States in the span of one week. The couple, 29-year-old Phillip Walter and 30-year-old Violetta Walter, are being held on first-degree murder charges and no motive has currently been released.
According to KTXS, police had initially revealed they were looking for two persons of interest in the murder case after surveillance footage showed two individuals leaving the area shortly after the murder in a 1990s maroon car. The arrest came just five hours after the “persons of interest” announcement. Police arrested the married couple, Phillip and Violetta Walter, on charges of first-degree murder. Police say that they “are confident” they have taken the correct people into custody. Abilene Police Chief Stan Standridge notes that physical evidence recovered from the scene was linked to the couple and that property of the deceased officer Don Allen was found in the couple’s possession. The police chief went on to note that they do not believe any other suspects were involved in the murder.
“We were able to link the suspects to property taken from Don Allen’s residence. Additionally, physical evidence recovered at the scene has linked the suspects to the crime. While I cannot discuss the specifics, we are confident that we have taken the correct people into custody. We do not believe there are any other suspects.”
The Daily Mail reports that the couple has three children together and have been married since 2006. Though no motive has been released, Phillip’s Facebook page reveals he studied criminal justice at Abilene Christian University.
The 27-year-old officer, Don Allen, had worked in the police force for a number of years. He began his career in Cisco and eventually moved to Abilene. The officer had recently gotten engaged to his girlfriend Sarah Waters.
Though the pair are currently being held on first-degree murder charges, the Abilene Police Chief Standridge says that the Texas Rangers and the District Attorney will decide if they want to pursue capital murder charges. The first-degree murder charges carry a sentence of up to 99 years in prison. Both of the suspects are being held on $500,000 bond as they wait for their hearing.
[Image Credit: Abilene Police Department mugshot]